The President of the USA, Barack Obama, greets people in Old Havana, Cuba, Sunday, March 20, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obama visits Cuba

Yesterday the first official visit of a President of the United States to Cuba in 88 years began. Barack and Michelle Obama along with their two daughters arrived in Cuba on March 20th to begin a state visit that will last in principle until the 22nd this month.
A visit that the government of the Caribbean island presents under a marked economical character, rather than political, if we consider the information posted on the official website of the Government of the Republic of Cuba.

Obama’s schedule includes a meeting with Cuban entrepreneurs to be held today, but taking part in official economic forums or the meetings with Cuban governmet officials do not seem the main priority in the agenda of a visit more oriented to strengthen the connection with the civil society than aimed to establish economic and political ties with the Castro regime, although there will be some to push forward the normallisation of the relations between both countries.

Rodrigo Malmierca, Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment of the Republic of Cuba referred yesterday at a press conference to the possibility that Obama could participate today in a bilateral business forum, organized by the Chamber of Commerce of the island country. Representatives of State companies, cooperative companies and self-employed workers will attend to this forum.
Some American businessmen accompanying Obama on this official visit were also expected to take part in the meeting.

The President of the USA, Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha greets dignitaries upon arrival in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, March 20, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The President of the USA, Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha greets dignitaries upon arrival in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, March 20, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Malmierca said that to date more than 20 Cuban companies have identified import business interests in the USA market and hoped that their expectatives could be met in that business meeting.
They have already been signed agreements in the telecommunications, postal, hospitality, and trade of equipment and components, he pointed.

Yet there remain some bans on doing business on both sides and the US has lifted the prohibition for Cuban companies to use dollars in their commercial transactions very recently.

Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce, one of the members of the delegation accompanying the US President met last Sunday with hes Cuban counterpart, Rodrigo Malmierca in order to advance in the field of trade relations between both countries.

Raul Castro (President of Cuba) and Barack Obama (USA President) shake hands at the VII Summit of the Americas. © Secretariat of the Summit of the Americas.
Raul Castro (President of Cuba) and Barack Obama (USA President) shake hands at the VII Summit of the Americas. © Secretariat of the Summit of the Americas.

On December 17th, 2014, the US President, Barack Obama, announced plans to resume diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, and in August 2015 the US embassy in La Habana (Havana) opened doors.

Last month the United States and Cuba signed an agreement allowing the US airlines operate up to 110 daily flights between the two countries. This means that air traffic between both nations will be restarted after 50 years of isolation.

Image over the headline.-  The President of the USA, Barack Obama, greets people in Old Havana, Cuba, Sunday, March 20, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).

Related external links:

Obama arrives in Cuba (official video published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba)

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Eugenio Martinez Enriquez (Ambassador of Cuba in Spain) explains the new economic model for Cuba

Related Eastwindlinks (old platform -English edition-):

Cold War Between Cuba and USA ends at Seventh Summit of the Americas

The USA, on course to drop down Cuba’s designation as State Sponsor of Terrorism

Related Eastwind links (Old platform -Spanish edition-):

Baleària, under way to start the first regular shipping service US-Cuba

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